Netflix is banking on Zack Snyder’s zombie heist thriller becoming their next big thing. The streaming platform announced that Snyder’s upcoming movie Army of the Dead is getting an expanded universe before it even takes off, with a prequel film and an anime spinoff series.
Army of the Dead is the kind of movie only Zack Snyder could make. Originally conceived back in 2008 as a sequel to Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead, the project was later sold to Netflix a decade later as its own thing. It stars Dave Bautista as Scott Ward, the leader of a group of mercenaries who are plotting a heist on a Las Vegas casino during a massive zombie outbreak. The movie filmed back in 2019, and is currently in post-production, though no expected release date has been announced yet.
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According to Deadline, the anime series Army of the Dead: Vegas will focus on Scott and his rescue team during the initial zombie outbreak, as they try to find the source of the pandemic (which means it’ll technically take place around the same time as Dawn of the Dead, even though the two films are no longer canonically connected). It’s being helmed by Jay Oliva (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns), who’s directing two episodes alongside Snyder, and several cast members are set to reprise their roles.
In addition to Bautista, the massive cast includes Matthias Schweighöfer, Ella Purnell, Ana De La Reguera, Theo Rossi, Huma Qureshi, Omari Hardwick, and Hiroyuki Sanada, among others. Schweighöfer will be directing and starring in the film prequel, which will centre around his character, Ludwig Dieter. Not much other information is available about this project yet, except that it’s being written by Army of the Dead co-writer Shay Hatten, and will be produced out of Germany.
It was announced last month that Tig Notaro (Star Trek: Discovery) would be replacing Chris D’Elia, who was cut from the movie following sexual misconduct allegations. Since the movie already filmed last year, Notaro will be added through reshoots, and green screens will insert her into key group scenes. She’s also set to co-star in the anime series.
Netflix has not revealed a release date for Army of the Dead, or any of its related spinoff projects yet, presumably because currently Zack Snyder is a very busy man.